Well I’ve been spinning everyday but I don’t think I’m going to ‘bust’ my stash before crossing the Tour’s finish line. I’d get SO much more spinning done if they’d let me bring my wheel to work ;-)
This is alpaca from the Wonder Why Alpaca Farm in Battle Creek, Michigan.
I love spinning alpaca. Nice long, smooth staple. It’s so lovely. Practicly spins it’s self! Thank goodness Andrea has an Etsy Shop !
I found this blue mystery fiber stuffed in a corner.
No idea what it is and there isn’t much of it but it was a good transition/practice from the alpaca to this
beautiful 50/50 Merino/Yak blend. Yes, YAK!
It spins very much like 100% wool. The Yak staple about half what the alpaca was and seems shorter than the Merino, so it’s trickier to draft but I’m really liking it. I’ll probably buy it again.
Summer this year here at the Lake has been full of visitors and that will be the case again this weekend. We love showing people the area by boat. But the spinning wheel and boating don’t mix well. The Tour de Fleece ends Sunday but I’ll keep spinning now that I’m in a groove. Still got some Stash to Bust!
Y’all probably know what the Tour de France is; that big bicycle race over in…France. Well those of us in the fiber world are spinning too. You can get all the scoop at ravelry.com but the gist of it is every day they ride, we spin. There are teams you can join if you choose and prizes to be won.
I joined the Stash Busters Team, because I have a bunch of fiber that’s been laying around too long collecting dust.
This is just some of the fiber waiting to be spun;-/
The Kromski Team because thats the manufacturer of my wheel, Fanty.
Yes, we name our wheels. Some people name their cars. Don’t judge.
And I joined the the Wonder Why Alpaca Team
because I’ve met Andrea AND her Alpacas (you can read about it here) I LOVE her fiber and still have some in my stash.
I started with 100% Merino from Purple Fleece (http://www.purplefleece.com/) (and supervision) on Saturday.
I had purchased two 4oz braids of “Embers” colorway and two 4oz braids of “Royal” at SAFF (http://www.saffsite.org/) last year.
I had not spun Purple Fleece fiber nor 100% merino before. The fiber was beautifully processed and stunningly dyed. It’s beautiful fiber to spin! I’ve received compliments on the colors (that I had nothing to do with except picking out and purchasing “pretties”) from everyone who has seen them :D
I wish I could take my wheel to work with me. I’d get a lot more spinning done. Now on to some Alpaca :D
It’s a Blog Post. Huh. Sorry it’s been a while. I’ve been posting a few things here and there on Facebook and Ravelry but nothing here because well, most of you are my FB Friends or Ravelry mates. And I guess I didn’t figure I had enough to make a whole post. Whatever that means.
Anyway we had a nice quiet Labor Day weekend here. With all the weekend wack jobs out on the lake and Tropical Storm Lee (which was supposed to dump 6 to 10 inches of rain on us, we got one) we didn’t make any big plans besides relaxing. We did a little cleaning and a little laundry and watched a whole lot of vintage Law & Order.
The kitten & the dog shared a pillow.
Monday Night Knit Night was canceled due to the holiday and the LYS, Piddlin’ Patch was closed. I decided to do some spinning.
I’ve had this 8oz of green/orange Zombie Slaying, Briar Rose Bluefaced Leicester Fiber (http://www.briarrosefibers.net/) for a little while now.
It spun up very smooth. I’m not sure if I’m going to ply them together or find a complimentry color and ply it with that.
I have to do something with it and the other 4 bobbins of fiber I have sitting around. I’m down to one bobbin:) I’m going to SAFF http://www.saffsite.org/ next month and I know I’ll be buying more spinning fiber! I’ll need empty bobbins! LOL!
Day 7 and 8
Now THIS is what I call a fun spin! This is an amazing fiber blend of Hand Dyed 70% SW Merino, 15% Seacell and 15% Banana (Yea. Banana!). I saw this at S.A.F.F. last Fall and kept coming back to the booth. The colors really grabbed me but the price ($25/4 oz braid) really didn’t. But once I committed to purchasing Fanty (my wheel:) I just had to try some. When I found out it was called Screaming Wild Monkeys (available exclusively from River’s Edge Fiber Arts) oh Hell, I had to have two! It’s a dream to spin! The staple is at least 4 inches long and so smooth! It makes spinning fun and easy!
Here’s some info on the fiber blend:
SW Merino – From the Lion Brand website “Superwash wool is a wool yarn that is machine washable and, therefore, will not felt. Each hair of wool is made up of scales. Felting occurs when these scales bind together. The superwash process prevents the scales from binding in one of two ways. Some superwash wools are given an acid bath that removes its scales. Alternatively, the yarn can be coated with a polymer or resin; this is essentially a protective coating for the yarn to prevent felting. A yarn can be treated with either or both methods to become superwash. It’s important to remember that excessive heat (such as with a hot setting on a washing machine or dryer) can damage a superwash coating, which may lead to felting.” To me the SW process makes the wool less ’sticky’, more slippery which makes it easier for me to draft and therefore spin.
Seacell - is a fabric made out of Lyocell (a 100% wood pulp fiber) and seaweed. The theory is that your skin will absorb nutrients from the seaweed, which is quite mineral- and vitamin-rich. It is said that the porous, open structure of the Seacell fibers “breath” well and absorb what your skin expels.
Banana – Textiles from banana fiber is pretty rare here in the states, but in India and Japan it’s widely available. Commercial banana fiber is produced in the same way rayon is – the stems and leaves are made into a pulp and extruded into long strands. Banana trees are more renewable than the wood used for rayon, and of course it’s multi-functional (mmm, bananas), so the fiber itself is already pretty eco-friendly.
Days 5 and 6
(Sparkie finds the soft sound of the wheel very soothing:)
This is the fiber I received with the purchase of my wheel. I’m a new spinner and don’t yet know the differences between Coopworth or any other kind of wool. Or the different processes that are used to prep the fleece for spinning. All I know is I don’t like this fiber. It’s got lots of ’veggie matter’ in it (meaning there are lots of hay bits mixed in) and it’s lumpy, bumpy, nubby. It’s almost as if it missed a step in the cleaning/prepping process. I checked the forum boards over on http://www.ravelry.com/ and found some people with the same issues from this manufacturer and some who have had beautiful fiber from them. I don’t think I’ll be buying any more of it soon. I still have 4 more ounces of it but I think I’ll switch to something fun!
I ‘rested’ on the Fourth of July, meaning I did not spin. I did prep this half pound of Dark Coopworth wool.
It’s not my favorite fiber so far. I had initially thought I was being ambitious in my spinning goals. I thought it would be a challenge to spin all this up before the end of the Tour de France.
I will neither confirm nor deny that I have already purchased more Alpaca:D
Sparkie likes the sound my wheel makes when I spin:)
She usually lays on the sofa with me in the evenings but when I spin she lays on the floor close by.
This is another Wonder Why Alpaca Farm fiber. 70% Suri Alpaca, 30% Merino wool. Un-B-leave-able! Soft, silky, a dream to spin.
Look how even my strands are. Very excited and proud about that. I’m learning so much by spinning everyday.
The Tour de Fleece is an annual Fiber Artist event where we spin-along during the Tour de France. Spinners from around the globe participate!.
The concept is simple, They spin, we spin. A real spinning themed spin-along.
From the Ravelry site, here are the Guidelines (Not Rules):
1. Spin everyday the Tour de France rides, if possible. Saturday July 2nd through Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th and Monday July 18th. (Just like the Tour)
2. Spin something challenging on Friday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage over the Col du Galibier for the second time and finishing up on Alpe d’Huez.)
3. Wear yellow on Sunday July 24th to announce victory!
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Day One: Saturday
I started out with a 4oz braid of Merino of Fibers by Em,
gifted to my by Em when the Zombie Prom Date Knitters came to visit me last year.
(That’s Em on my right)
I dusted off my new (bought last year at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fest -S.A.F.F) Kromski Fantasia spinning wheel
And started spinning. Being a new spinner I do a lot of things wrong. I treadle (peddle) too fast and draft (pull out wool fibers to spin) too slow which makes for over-spun (very twisty) singles (un-plied yarn). It really helps if you pre-draft the fiber. Meaning you pull it apart into stripes about the diameter of your index finger and pull/stretch the fibers just a bit. It take a little prep but it is SO worth it in the end. It makes all the difference for me.
I’m happy with these first results :D